Know Why You Practice Yoga

Be clear on your reason why you practice yoga

Do you know why you practice yoga?

The second part of Patanjali’s yoga sutras give s the method for practice – the how.

Because it tells you how to get what you seek, it seems to be the most studied, most quoted, and most used part of the sutras. If you ask a yoga teacher to recite or explain one or more of the sutras, if they know any at all (yes, sadly, many yoga teachers have not even studied the sutras) then usually you will get something from the second part called the Sādhana Pāda.

Admittedly, I’ve focused most of my efforts in my personal practice as well as teaching on the information found in the methodology of the second part of the sutras. But I believe there is a reason that Patanjali put ‘the method’ second. It took stepping away from teaching for a while to understand.

Why Do You Practice Yoga?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Do you know why YOU practice yoga?

Regardless of what you practice… regardless of style, brand, level of understanding, level of knowledge… do you know why?

The first part of Patanjali’s yoga sutras is called the Sāmadhi Padā. It is often translated as the Portion on Contemplation. But what it tells you, really, is about the goals of yoga.

In other words, it’s the why.

For Success You Should Know Your Why

Just over a year ago I was working hard on a marketing business I’d started. Things were up and down, the hours were long and I managed to get pretty burnt out. Every time I seemed to be making headway and getting traction I also reached the point where I was so tired that I felt overwhelmed.

One of my mentors asked me the question… “Hey dude, what’s your WHY?”

It wasn’t the first time someone had asked me that question. I knew it was important. But it might have been the first time I actually heard the question. Why was I doing what I was doing? Why the long hours, the late nights, the lack of time for my family, and all of the other knock-on effects?

I didn’t really have a clear answer.

I could spout off a bunch of answers… “I want more money, more time, more freedom,  the ability to help others… ” But these reasons why had just become something I said. I had to take a step back and really determine my why.

click here for more on my why in business

Why You Practice Yoga Is A Personal Choice

When the time came to return to teaching yoga it became clear that there needed to be a ‘why’ for that as well. Further introspection led to the need for a ‘why’ for even practicing. Doing the practice had become part of my life. But I had lost track of the why.

By going back to the first part of Patanjali’s sutras the picture started to become clear again. Studying other great books on yoga with the clear intention of discovering why brought everything into better focus. Using concentration techniques taught by my teachers to enter a meditative state helped even more.

Now there is a clear long-term goal and little daily reminders about the reason for the practice.

If you really want to make lasting progress and survive the pitfalls, obstacles and setbacks then you might consider understanding why you practice yoga. And the reason is yours and yours alone, based on you and your life. Your reason might not be my reason. And that’s ok.

So, whatever the reason, know why you practice yoga



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